The good, the bad and the ugly

Eugen Eşanu
Jul 9 · 5 min read

My background is in designing digital products and I also write a lot about it. Writing is something new for me, but once I started studying it, I realised there are similar principles as in design. For example, in design, same as in writing, you should aim for making your writing/products simple, so people can understand you.

In design, words are an important element of a great product. So are they in a great story. Somehow we still manage to screw this one and use complex alternatives that only confuse our readers.

While working on my product to allow me to scan for such words, I made a list of words and phrases that have a simpler alternatives. Please use them with caution, otherwise you risk people understanding what you write :)

  • abundance — enough, plenty, a lot
  • absence of — none, no
  • 12 noon — noon
  • 12 midnight — midnight
  • abduct — kidnap
  • abject — hopeless, worthless
  • abbreviate — shorten, reduce
  • abridge — shorten, cut
  • above-mentioned — previous, anterior, before
  • for a long time — for more than
  • for a short time — for less than
  • for a while — for more than
  • actionable — practical, practicable, useful, realistic
  • actionable items — items, practical, practicable
  • action item — action
  • agreeance — agreement
  • almost unique — unique
  • accompany — go with, with
  • accede — agree, grant, allow
  • accentuate — stress, highlight
  • according to our records — our records show
  • advance planning — planning
  • aforementioned — above, prior, previous
  • aforesaid — this, earlier
  • allocating — dividing, sharing
  • all throughout — throughout
  • all-time record — record
  • along the lines of — like, as in
  • a lot of — many, several, a great number of
  • already exists — exists
  • alternative choices — choices
  • alternatively — or, so
  • amendment — change, revision, correction
  • ammalgamations — combinations, unions
  • a number of — many, some, several
  • a sufficient number of — enough
  • and so on and so forth — etc.
  • anticipate — expect
  • ASAP — important, urgent
  • as a consequence of — because
  • join together — join
  • grown in size — grow
  • go and get — get
  • as of the date of — from
  • give a smile — smile
  • general public — public
  • as regards — about
  • as a means of — to
  • the fact of the matter — you really want to write that?
  • as yet — yet
  • as such — so
  • as at — on, at
  • as of yet — yet
  • as being — as
  • as to — to, on, about
  • as to whether — whether
  • could not care less — could care less
  • ascend up — ascend
  • ask a question — ask
  • ask questions — ask
  • as means of — to
  • as for example — as
  • all the farther — as far as
  • at an early date — soon
  • at its discretion — can, may
  • at the moment — now
  • point in time — now, moment, time
  • particular point in time — now, moment, time
  • attain — meet, gain, achieve, reach
  • attach together — attach
  • at that point in time — then
  • attempt — try
  • attempting — trying
  • attending — coming to, going to
  • arbitrator — judge
  • armed gunman — gunman
  • authorising — allowing, letting
  • axiomatic — obvious, goes without saying
  • as long as — if
  • as well as — and
  • no brainer — easy, simple, obvious
  • apple to apples — compare similar things
  • it’s on my radar — where did you buy your radar? Please don’t use it
  • awesome — amasing, impressive
  • ambiguous — more than one meaning
  • annul — cancel
  • bona fide — in good faith
  • per capita — per head, per person, each
  • vis-a-vis — as regards, regarding, on, about
  • vs — versus, against
  • blue-sky thinking — searching for novel possibilities
  • skyrocket — rocket
  • positive thoughts — optimism
  • positive thinking — optimism, optimist
  • high name recognition — well known
  • name recognition — well known
  • he is a man who — he
  • she is a woman who — she
  • this is a subject that — this subject
  • gauge — measure, assess, estimate
  • affirmative action — job preferment, discrimination, preferential treatment
  • automobile — car
  • the military — the army
  • corporation — company
  • courtroom — court
  • courthouse — court
  • normalcy — normality
  • obligate — oblige
  • real estate — property
  • transportation — transport
  • galerist — dealer, gallery
  • inaugural — inauguration
  • writing experience — writing
  • apparel — clothes
  • garments — clothing
  • physician — doctor
  • gotten — got
  • attorney — lawyer
  • perception — belief, view
  • parking lot — car park
  • nation’s capital — country’s capital
  • outage — power cut, blackout
  • raise children — brought up (don’t raise children please, they are not vegetables)
  • care for — look after
  • address (verb)answer, deal with, attend to, look at
  • supportive — helpful
  • transparency — openness
  • not honest — dishonest
  • yearly basis — yearly
  • you are requested — please
  • your attention is drawn to — please note, please see
  • you are going to — you will
  • you are going to have to — you will have to, you must
  • terrible tragedy — tragedy
  • zone — area, region
  • was able to — could
  • is able to — can
  • am able to — can
  • I’m able to — I can
  • I came to realisation that — I realised that
  • she is of the opinion that — she thinks that
  • utilise — use (please stop utlising things…)
  • ingress — entry, way in, comes in
  • in this day and age — now, today, nowadays
  • in case of — if
  • in all cases — always
  • in conjunction with — and, with
  • cease and desist — stop, finish, end
  • and during — during
  • desist — stop
  • centered around — centered, around
  • check the box (expression)— complete the task
  • circumvent — avoid, surround, overcome
  • circa — around, about
  • clarification — explanation, help
  • close proximity — near, proximity
  • close scrutiny — scrutiny
  • competitive advantage — excel at, great at
  • construe — interpret, explain
  • consult with — talk to, ask, check
  • consolidate — combine, unite, join

In case you think the list is too big to check all the time, you can try Shosho. It will scan for you all the redundant words, jargons and phrases you can omit. And it will make room for your writing to breath and shine :)

Shoshowrites

Write More. Better.

Eugen Eşanu

Written by

Designing at Laroche.co

Shoshowrites

Write More. Better.

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